Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Want a Do-Over

I mentally put myself through hell the first year after discovering our son's addiction. I riddled myself with guilt and blame. I then learned of the 3 C's, and for the past 4 months I have been more gentle with myself. But, I'd still like a do-over in raising said son. I know I shouldn't want what I can't have, but I do. I'm not going back to the place of blame, but boy would it be easy... Just like the addict relapsing...

I have reason for these feelings. I received a phone call from son's ex-girlfriend. She's about 3 months clean. She was calling because she heard about FIL passing away. Come to think of it, I'd like a do-over with this phone call too, because I should have thanked her and excused myself right off the phone- that would have been the healthy thing for me to do. Instead, I stayed on long enough for her to ask me if I've heard from son. She said she saw him about 2 weeks ago. I take most of what she says with a grain of salt. However, one thing stuck out. She said that she thinks he likes this lifestyle. I asked her to be more specific and she said, "Oh, you know- the running around, going here, going there and living on the edge."

I received total clarity on the fact that this is how our son was from day ONE. Never content, always on to the next thing before the first thing was finished, somewhat liking danger, etc. So, while I don't blame myself directly for his drug use, I blame myself for always trying to change who he was and I think that he must have not always felt safe to be himself. Or, he must have felt like I always disapproved of him. Even though it wasn't "him," but his behavior that I disapproved of, I'm not sure I made that clear to him.

That's why I'd like a do-over. To hug him more, to tell him he's wonderful, to spend more time with him.

I wonder if it's true, I wonder if he really does like his current lifestyle? I didn't think he did, but maybe I'm wrong.

I really don't want to wonder about these things. I don't want my head filled with things I have no control over. I don't want to speculate or awfulize.

I think blogging is helping me. I don't want a do-over after all. That would be too much work, and who's to say I wouldn't screw up the second time around anyway?! Life isn't about perfection, it's about experience, living, loving and forgiving.

I forgive myself for not being the perfect mom.



  1. My little brother was released from prison yesterday. Although he had a chance to stay with my Mom, he talked so BAD to her that she stopped that idea right away.

    He said, "Mom, we live different lifestyles, it would never work."

    So, yes, some of them love the lifestyle and don't want to change it.

    (HUGS) I know it is hard.

  2. I like what you said about not being perfect. Who is but God? I tried to be the perfect son, perfect husband, perfect worker, etc. for all my life. It never got me anywhere but into self-hatred and resentment. I am who I am. And grateful for the program for showing me my shortcomings and my assets.

  3. If only I had a do over. How many times I have said that I am am so glad no one EVER granted that wish. There is no doubt in my mind if I had a do over the result would be just as bad or worse.

    Through all of this with my son I have gone through all the emotions and actions then re-hashed everything in my mind countless time. Maybe it's just my ego but the more I think about it I come to realize I was a good dad, his problems are his problems and choices.

    When I do look back it is not in a longing way to change this or change that. I look back in an effort to examine, "What did I learn?" Then the effort is focused on applying that learning to new situations. I am a very goal oriented person. One of my primary life goals is: Make only new mistakes. Keeps me focused on the future and not living in the past.

    Don't know if what I said helps you but it works for me.

  4. Don't blame yourself! I was the alcoholic son. My mother didn't do everything right. She did many things horribly wrong, actually, but NOT ONE THING SHE DID contributed to my addiction, or my behavior while drunk. That was ALL me.

    Now that I am sober, I appreciate her so much more.

  5. I hear you. I know that I learned from my parents mistakes and I hope that my kids learn from mine.

  6. Hang in there. You are doing the best you can with what you have. That's all that any of us can do.

  7. Boy, can I relate! I am learning to forgive myself and apply the three C's too. I am getting my but back to Al-Anon tomorrow. Hugging your from across cyberspace....

  8. I thought whether I would want a do over but I cant think of anything I would change, I raised both my daughters the same and one is fine with no addiction problems and one is Kelly. Even with her being clean 7 months it is with guarded optimism that I celebrate.

  9. Chai, never too late for hugs and saying 'I love u'. Particularly not with a child. Not sure if a do-over would change anything. I think I would still make the same mistakes, if I was in the same situation as then. Love and have a great Sunday Fishy xx

  10. yah. i played the 'do over' game too. then i realized, it was HER that made the bad decisions. I raised five kids, and a host of foster kids. they all turned out fine.

    there are a couple of extenuating circumstances I did recognize. she was EXTREMELY gifted. She NEVER had a challenge she faced that she did NOT excel immediately at. Until her junior year in college. then, when she was presented with that challenge, she fell flat on her face.

    so that makes me raise the grandbabies differently. I will make SURE that the two extremely gifted kids she had that I am raising have Challenges to face from early on so that they will learn to fail, to get back up, and to grow strong from adversity and challenge.

    then maybe, just maybe, with two heroin addict parents, they will have the coping skills for life so they don't crawl into a bottle, or a needle at the first failure.

    thats about the best i can do.

  11. I come back often and re-read these comments~ I love everyone's input on this topic. Thank you so much!